#SkiTheDifference Tip Series – Week 8

Trust Your Outside Ski

A skill that all good skiers practice is aligning their bodies so that pressure is directed to the ski that is on the outside of each turn. At slower speeds the outside ski should build only slightly more pressure than the inside ski, and at higher speeds A LOT more. This helps achieve solid edge grip and provides a stable platform for you to balance against.  To do this effectively a change in leg lengths must occur.


To accomplish this yourself, find some gentle terrain and try some “outside ski turns.”  These are performed by lifting your inside ski slightly off of the snow by shortening your inside leg, while balancing against your outside ski throughout a turn. Keep your outside leg long and strong, but not stiff and locked, so that your bones are taking on most of the workload and not your muscles. First, do one turn at a time. When that becomes comfortable, try linking them by switching feet between turns.

outside ski 1

outside ski 2

Now that you trust your outside ski, blend it back to skiing with both skis on the snow and think about shortening your inside leg progressively until your skis are carving the desired turn shape. After you’ve achieved shaping and speed control, the inside leg can begin getting longer again in anticipation of the next turn.

Give it a go, you should experience a higher level of ski performance and less wear and tear on your body too!

Read the rest of the series:
Week 1 – Come prepared
Week 2 – Tune ups
Week 3 –  Early season conditions
Week 4 –  Skills not hills
Week 5 – Use the whole ski
Week 6 – Always be moving
Week 7 – Find your rhythm


Derek Althof has 16 years experience in the ski industry and is Deer Valley’s ski school training manager and an alpine examiner and clinic leader for the Professional Ski Instructors of America’s Central and Intermountain Divisions. Derek learned to ski at age 4 and has had a passion for good skiing ever since.

We hope you enjoy our weekly skiing tips. Please remember that they can help but will not eliminate risks, as skiing is a dynamic sport. These tips are meant to help you build skills  for a more enjoyable skiing experience.

One Response

  1. Patty Soderberg says:

    Great series Derek . The steps in each tip are clear and easy to work through on snow. Thanks

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